Monday, December 1, 2008

Predictions of Microsoft's Demise

I'm tired of reading blog posts by people that don't do their research. It seems like anyone that talks about Microsoft's downfall or the coming obsolescence of a piece of Microsoft software due to competition fall into one of the two following patterns, or both.

First, they compare the up-and-coming software of their favorite Microsoft competitor to the last piece of Microsoft software that they are familiar with. Most often this is a past release. Of course an old piece of software won't stack up against something new and shiny. Try picking on the current crop.

Second, even when they do pick the comparable piece of Microsoft software to talk about, they forget that Microsoft writes much of their software to work for both home users and enterprises. There are features and integration points that the average user just doesn't see.

If you're going to do product comparisons, please do a fair amount of research on all of the products you are talking about. Don't skimp or provide misleading information on Microsoft just because it's not your choice. Unless you are a shill in which case it's OK because that's your job.

Now, I will be the first person to admit that there are plenty of other options besides Microsoft software out there. And in many situations, other solutions will even provide a better value.

For instance, the movement of home, school and even small business users towards Open Office makes a lot of sense under the right circumstances. Despite that, Open Office has a ways to go before its feature set makes it a viable replacement for enterprises using the more advanced capabilities of Microsoft Office. Open Office is not going to kill Microsoft Office any time soon.

People have been predicting the demise of Microsoft or its products at the hands of competitors for a while now. At this point it all sounds like Rasputin and his prognostications. Sure people kind of sort of get close to guessing correctly once in a while. They should if they make countless vague predictions on different topics nonstop.

But even if the pundits get one right now and then, Microsoft can afford the occasional mistake. That's not a luxury that many companies have. Microsoft has proven that they can recover from large blunders even in their core market. ME was considered quite the unsuccessful stab at an operating system but it was followed up by XP which is generally thought of as a decent platform.

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